In our previous guide on Windows PC radio issues & fixes, we discussed How to fix Wi-Fi disabled by Windows Mobility Center (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-fix-wi-fi-disabled-by-windows-mobility-center/ ) . In this guide, we’ll be looking at a common Bluetooth headache; which is problems detecting or connecting to other Bluetooth devices. We’ll be discussing common causes and working fixes to apply when experiencing such.
What could cause a Windows PC’s Bluetooth not to detect or connect to other Bluetooth devices?
When faced with Bluetooth detection or connection problems, possible causes are:
- Bluetooth is not on: Its possible the PC’s Bluetooth is off
- Too many paired devices: The PC or other Bluetooth device might have too many devices on its paired list
- Bluetooth is set to hidden: The PC’s Bluetooth might have been set to hidden / stealth mode
- Devices aren’t paired: The devices need to be paired for a transfer to occur
- Bluetooth Connection notification is off: You might not get a Bluetooth connection request if connection alert is disabled
- PC doesn’t support Bluetooth: Check the PC’s specifications to be sure it supports Bluetooth
- Bluetooth driver problems: The PC’s Bluetooth drivers might be missing, corrupted or outdated
- Damaged Bluetooth radio: The Bluetooth radio might have encountered a hardware problem
- Out of range: Proximity is very important in Bluetooth communication. Ensure the devices are within detection range
- Wrong Bluetooth connection mode: Its possible the Bluetooth isn’t set to Send or Receive mode as appropriate
How do I fix a PC whose Bluetooth wont detect / connect to other devices?
Some fixes to consider include:
- Bluetooth capability: Check to be sure the PC supports the appropriate Bluetooth Technology
- Delete unused paired devices: Locate the paired devices both on the PC (Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices) and the other Bluetooth device then delete unused paired devices
- Ensure Bluetooth is set to ON: Using the Start menu, Search for Bluetooth > Under Wireless communication, ensure Bluetooth is set to ON
- Proximity: Ensure the devices are near enough to each other
- Run the Bluetooth hardware and devices troubleshooter tool
- Ensure the devices are paired: Click on Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Add a device > Select the target device once listed > Follow the wizard and type the Passcode if prompted
- Delete then re-pair the Bluetooth device: Click on Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Select the device with is not working > Remove > Re-pair
- Set Bluetooth to discoverable: Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Select Options > Tick the box in front of Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer
- Set Connection alert to active: Go to the system tray (bottom right corner) > Start menu > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Bluetooth devices > Select Options > Tick the box in front of Alert me when a new Bluetooth device wants to connect
- Restart the PC: The PC might have encountered a minor error. consider restarting to clear such errors (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-fix-a-slow-hanging-or-crashing-pc/ )
- Enable the appropriate file transfer mode: Set Bluetooth to Send file if you wish to send and Receive file if you wish to receive. To do this, go to the system tray (bottom right corner) > Right-click the Bluetooth icon
- Install Bluetooth drivers: Download the Bluetooth driver for the exact PC model then install (if you encounter problems after installing drivers then read https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-do-a-system-restore-on-a-pc/ ).
- Uninstall then re-install Bluetooth drivers: Go to Device Manager > Click View at the top > Show hidden devices > Expand Bluetooth radios > Right-click each Bluetooth radio and select Uninstall > Click Ok > Click Action at the top > Scan for hardware changes
- If all these fail then it might be a hardware issue; consider re-installing the OS to confirm this (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-install-windows-7-with-and-without-the-operating-system-cd-dvd/ )
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